Avan Nathan 609: Video review
Spacious and luxurious, the Avan Nathan 609 is packed with features for touring comfort.
The 6.04m (19ft 10in) Nathan is easy on the eye, given its aerodynamic exterior and sleek panel construction, and it also serves up a fair dollop of luxury within its spacious layout.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
The body is constructed with styrene foam fully-insulated sandwich panel side walls and roof with ply-reinforced (two layers), smooth, pre-painted aluminium outer skin, which Avan says is built for increased dent and impact resistance and the rigours of travel and camping life. Manufactured onsite, it’s a handmade, vacuum-bonded panel with an excellent size-to-weight ratio. Subsequently, not only is the van quite lightweight (Tare 1910kg), it’s strong as well.
Avan also recommends pre-painted aluminium in its body construction due to what it believes are important and unique benefits over fibreglass – including reduced weight per square metre, surface appearance, UV resistance, low dirt-retention, and ageing resistance.
The Nathan 609 is badged as an on-roader, but I wouldn’t be the only one suspecting it could take up the challenge of more testing terrain, given its Avan Centurion hot-dipped galvanised chassis, roller-rocker suspension, Al-Ko shock absorbers, 15in light truck tyres and alloy wheels.
The Avan-dubbed ‘superior strength’ smooth bonded panel construction is not the only exterior highlight associated with the Nathan 609. It has a compendium of must-haves for any caravan, including an Aircommand Sparrow air-conditioner, 190L of water carrying capacity, a lockable water filler, mains pressure and water inlet, dual gas cylinders and regulator, a stone-resistant vinyl front boot, and LED side, front and rear marker lights.
The Nathan 609 also features an advanced electrical system with a top-of-the-range AC Delco 95Ah battery pack and 18A charger and power supply, including a battery level indicator and water level indicator to provide peace of mind on any adventure.
A couple of aesthetics really grabbed my attention, including low black checkerplate sides and a slight cutaway shape at the rear.
But I thought a slide-out barbecue, grey water tank, increased gas cylinder capacity, a second or larger battery, and even an external TV hatch would have fully completed the home-away-from-home scenario.
Intelligent design comes to the fore in the bedroom and lounge, with copious amounts of space and, once again, a reasonable splodge of extravagance.
You can stretch out in comfort in the dining area, which is designed with total relaxation in mind. The lounge features a cafe dinette and tri-fold table with a display shelf underneath, and two drop-down cupboards to access the under-seat storage.
The colour-coded pelmets above the aluminium-framed, double-glazed tinted windows in the lounge and bedroom add a touch of class, as does the LED strip lighting in the bedroom, kitchen and lounge.
HITS & MISSES
- Spacious layout
- Good size-to-weight ratio
- Easy to tow
- Could benefit from a grey water tank
- No slide-out barbecue
- A little light on gas capacity
AVAN NATHAN 609 SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 7.7m (25ft 3in)
- External body length 6.04m (19ft 10in)
- External body width 2.39m (7ft 10in)
- Travel height 2.89m (9ft 6in)
- Internal height 1.92m (6ft 4in)
- Tare 1910kg
- ATM 2310kg
- Ball weight 140kg
- Frame Meranti (only in areas that require stronger fixtures)
- Cladding One-piece composite
- Chassis Avan Centurion hot-dipped galvanised
- Suspension Roller-rocker
- Brakes Al-Ko 10in electric
- Wheels 15in alloy wheels and LT tyres
- Water 2x95L
- Battery 1x95Ah deep-cycle
- Solar Provision available
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Sparrow
- Gas 2x4kg
- Sway control Optional
- Cooking Swift 500 Series four-burner combo with grill
- Fridge Thetford 185L three-way
- Microwave Panasonic 20L
- Toilet Thetford cassette C200
- Shower Fibreglass full-size single
- Lighting LED 12V
- Hot water Atwood 20L
- Deluxe Upgrade Package: Allure pack interior; LED strip lighting; glass shower door; ceramic vanity sink; washing machine; feature splashback; radio/CD player. Adventure Pack: Higher ground clearance; bigger chassis (150x50mm); 15in wheels and tyres; extra step.
Price as shown
- $63,000 (on-road, Vic)
The full test appears in Caravan World #548 April 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!